Real veterans

Thank you, Mountain Xpress and Max Cooper, for your insightful article about Dr. Warner Anthony and Mr. Andy Andrews, and their thought-provoking stories and reflections of the horrors of real war [“War Stories,” Nov. 7 Xpress].

These days, it seems everyone who was ever in a uniform of any kind wants to get a piece of the military service hero worship that's bandied about in political speeches, movies and television. I'm pretty sure that nobody, however, would willingly take a piece of that go-fight-kill-die-freeze-starve (for the duration), then come home quietly and return to productive civilian life like these men did. There's a reason they call it the Greatest Generation, and I fear that America will never breed men like these again.

When one has truly “been there” and “done that,” he generally doesn't bother with the T-shirt — and he sure as hell doesn't run around tweeting about it.

My father, my brother, my sister and myself all have DD-214s in our file cabinets. I'll speak for myself when I say that I was enriched far, far beyond any minor sacrifices I made while in uniform.

Stories like this serve well to remind us of the difference between "veterans," and VETERANS.

— Norman Plombe
Asheville

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